NBC Sunday School Manual For March 19, 2023 :Topic – Jesus Talks With A Samaritan Woman
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SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Theme of the Month:
CALLED FROM THE MARGINS OF SOCIETY.
SUNDAY, 19TH MARCH, 2023.
TOPIC: JESUS TALKS WITH A SAMARITAN WOMAN.
Devotional Reading: Isaiah 44:1-8.
John 4:4-15, 28-30, 39-41.
“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I’ve ever done.” John 4:39
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Identify some causes of discrimination among believers and how to overcome them based on today’s lesson.
● Explain why believers in Christ Jesus must be ready to break all barriers in their interactions with others.
● Share practical things they can do to help others during the week no matter their background or status.
Some Christian parents would never allow their children to marry from a particular tribe for reasons best known to them. For such parents, any of their children who disobeys their order will be left to face the consequences.
From the earliest period of Jewish history, there was an emphasis that Jews should not marry foreigners. However, after the deportation of the Jews to Assyria, the remnants intermarried with the foreigners that were resident in Israel against the will of God for them. There was great hostility between the mixed race, (the Samaritans who were regarded as impure and outcasts by the Jews). The Jews hated the Samaritans and felt that those who intermarried with them had betrayed the people and the nation; therefore, they had nothing to do with them. Jesus broke through this long-existing hostility and discrimination. After all, He did not come to save a particular tribe but the whole world (John 3:16). Jesus broke the barriers, gave hope to the hopeless and accepted the rejected.
Today’s lesson focuses on Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. It was an experience that turned the life of the woman around and made her an agent of revival to the entire community. This lesson is a reminder that Christians should be ready to break barriers of gender, culture, ethnicity, and other social and economic differences that exist among them. This will help us to easily work together to achieve the Great Commission.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. JESUS THE LIVING WATER:
The hostility that existed between the Jews and Samaritans affected every aspect of their relationship with one another. Ordinarily, a Jew would prefer to bypass the city of Samaria and take a longer route to Jericho; a practice that was on for years. However, Jesus chose to pass through Samaria to the city of Jericho on His way to Galilee (v. 4). Wearied from the long journey, He sat by the side of Jacob’s well in the city of Sychar, a town in Samaria (v. 5). There, He had an encounter with the woman who had come to fetch water from the well. Jesus initiated a conversation with the woman and ensured that the subject of the conversation was something the woman would be interested in the water she came to fetch, He said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ (v. 7b). Jesus was not expected to interact with the woman at least for the following reasons:
● She was a Samaritan and the Jews have nothing to do with them.
● The Jews will not use the same cup and bowl with the Samaritans.
● A Jewish teacher would not engage in public discussion with a woman.
● The woman was an adulterer, a sinner who had no good reputation in the community (vv. 16-17).
● Having recognised Jesus as a Jew, the woman was reluctant to grant His request.
Despite the hostility between the Jews and Samaritans, Jesus was willing to talk to the woman in order to bring her to salvation. For Jesus, no ethnic, cultural, or social barrier set by human beings could hinder Him from setting free the oppressed. Although the woman was initially confused and amazed at Jesus’ offer, she later requested for the Water of Life so that she would not thirst again. In the Old Testament, the Bible speaks of thirsting after God as one thirsts for water (Psalm 42:1). The conversation indeed made the woman cry out to the Lord for help (v. 15). Believers should not allow ethnic, social, gender, educational, religious or economic sentiments to debar them from relating with others with a view to leading them to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, believers should be ready to present the gospel with wisdom just like Jesus did with the woman starting from her area of interest to something that is of eternal value.
1. Identify some hindrances to effective witnessing in our contemporary time and how to overcome them.
2. Explain how we should present the gospel to an argumentative and religious person like the Samaritan woman. 2 Timothy 2:23-26, Titus 3:9.
B. THE SAMARITAN WOMAN’S TESTIMONY:
To give ‘testimony’ is the same as to give evidence or to bear witness of an event. Usually, the best witness is the one who has watched an event happen. According to the passage, the woman was thrilled when Jesus declared His Identity as the Messiah. Straightaway, she left her water jar and returned to the city and said to the people with excitement, “Come and see a man who told me everything I’ve ever done. Could he be the Messiah?”(v.29). She automatically became an evangelist, an instrument and a witness for Christ. The testimony of her encounter with Jesus made impact on the entire community. Because of the genuineness of her salvation experience, the words she spoke were backed with power. The people believed the woman and came to Jesus.
Apparently, the woman became transformed and she developed faith in Jesus after her encounter with Him. Her testimony was so convincing and exciting that the whole town made their way to Jesus on her account (v. 30). The life of this woman is a pointer to the fact that whoever genuinely encounters Jesus cannot keep the experience to him/herself. Such faith motivates one to reach out to others in order to invite them to Christ Jesus. In addition, whenever Christ turns people’s lives around, they automatically become living witnesses as they proclaim the goodness of God wherever they go. The challenge in the lesson is that Christians should not keep quiet about their salvation experience. We should endeavour to share our testimony with others especially those who are yet to know Jesus like the woman whose testimony brought the Samaritans to Jesus.
1. Explain why the Samaritan woman was able to convince the Samaritans to believe her testimony and come to Jesus (vv. 28-30).
2. What are the implication(s) of this woman’s action to Christians today? Mark 5:18-20; 16:15-16.
C. MANY SAMARITANS BELIEVE:
The Samaritan woman’s testimony about her encounter with Jesus made many of the people believe in Jesus. Her testimony was simple. She said, ‘He told me everything I’ve ever done.” (v. 39b). Eventually, they came to Him based on the testimony of the woman and persuaded Jesus to stay with them for two days. According to verse 41, many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Jesus, not only because of the woman’s testimony but also because of Jesus’ words. The woman was truly a witness because she shared what she had experienced with her people. Someone once said, “Witnessing is one of the most effective methods of preaching the gospel message because when people see the physical manifestation of God’s power, they easily believe.”
Our encounter with Jesus should vitalise us to witness to others about Him like the Samaritan woman did and many were led to Christ. She could not hold herself after the encounter with Jesus. She was moved by the power in the Word of God as she went to the city to share with others her encounter. Even though she was once wayward, because of her encounter with Jesus, she became a new person through whom many came to believe in Jesus.
1. Discuss how our perception about some people affect our relationship with them and the gospel message.
2. Outline some hindrances to the fruitfulness of the message of the gospel as believers witness for the Lord.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Let class members list various ways they will affirm and welcome so-called outcasts this week based on today’s lesson. They are to share their experiences next week.
Take Home: State at least three main lessons you are taking home, based on today’s lesson:
● Make a commitment to accept and relate well with people, especially the outcasts.
Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!